The day Washington Commanders fans never thought they would witness finally came to fruition on Thursday as NFL owners unanimously approved the sale of the team to Josh Harris and his limited partners at a special league meeting in Minneapolis.
“Congratulations to Josh Harris and his impressive group of partners. Josh will be a great addition to the NFL,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “He has a remarkable record in business, sports, and in his communities. The diverse group that Josh has put together is outstanding for its business acumen and strong Washington ties and we welcome them to the NFL as well.”
“I met Josh several years ago, prior to his acquisition of an interest in the Steelers and have been fortunate to get to know him better over the past few months,” Goodell continued. “I know he has a commitment to winning on the field, but also to running an organization that everyone will be proud of — and to making positive contributions in the community.”
Harris is a native of Washington, D.C. who also owns the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers. He reportedly purchased the team for $6.05 billion with an ownership group that includes NBA Champion Magic Johnson, Mitch Rales, and Harris’ longtime sports business partner David Blitzer.
Harris’ ownership group also includes local business leader Mark Ein, Lee Ainslie, Eric Holoman, Michael Li, owner of Range Group, the Morgan family, owners of Morgan Properties, the Santo Domingo family, Michael Sapir, Co-founder and CEO of ProShares, Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO and Executive Chair and Andy Snyder amongst others.
In a statement released by the Commanders shortly before the sale was approved, Harris said: “From day one, it is our priority to deliver you a championship caliber team, and we will strive everyday to ensure that we are a franchise you can be proud of.”
“This franchise is part of who I am,” Harris said in a press conference after the sale was officially complete. “But being a fan is not enough. To be successful, we need to win championships, create a positive impact on the community and create incredible memories for our fan base much like I had as a youth growing up in Washington.”
Harris’ acquisition of the team ends the tumultuous ownership history of Dan Snyder whose tenure was riddled with accusations of mishandling finances and sexual misconduct.
After the NFL’s announcement of the sale, the league also released the findings of the independent investigation conducted by former U.S. Attorney and SEC Chair Mary Jo White and her colleagues from Debevoise & Plimpton into allegations of misconduct and financial improprieties made by former employees of the Commanders. The outcome of the investigation found these claims to be true. Snyder will be required to pay the league $60 million in resolution of Ms. White’s findings.
With that being said, “a new era of Washington football is here” and Commanders fans can put all of the Snyder drama behind them and look forward to what’s to come.